Germany Commits to Phasing Out Coal

  • "When a big industrial country like Germany turns away from nuclear and coal and transitions step-by-step towards meeting its energy needs entirely with renewable energies, that sends a strong signal to other parts of the world," Schulze said.
  • A German commission recommended the phasing out of coal in Germany by 2038.
  • The creation of an alliance of countries supporting the rejection of the use of coal for electricity generation was announced at the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn in November 2017.

Germany’s Minister of the Environment, Svenja Schulze, will announce Germany’s joining an alliance of countries committed to phasing out coal in electricity generation. The announcement to join the Powering Past Coal Alliance comes ahead of a United Nations climate summit in New York on Monday.

Svenja Schulze is a German politician of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) from Münster in Westphalia. Schulze currently serves as Minister of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety in the fourth coalition government of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

This was announced by the Federal Minister of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Svenja Schulze, in an interview with the media group Funke, published on Sunday. According to the minister, she will make an official statement about this at the summit on climate protection in New York, held on Monday. “When a big industrial country like Germany turns away from nuclear and coal and transitions step-by-step towards meeting its energy needs entirely with renewable energies, that sends a strong signal to other parts of the world,” Schulze said.

By 2038 – a complete rejection of coal

In June 2018, the German government created a commission called Growth, Structural Changes and Employment, which included representatives of business, trade unions, coal mining authorities, environmental organizations, and academia.  For more than six months, they jointly developed a concept of how Germany could fulfill its international obligations to protect the climate and reduce greenhouse gas emissions without harming the country’s economy, energy companies, or specific regions. They recommended all 84 remaining coal-fired plants be phased out and shut down. On January 26, 2019, the commission agreed and promulgated a document suggesting a complete rejection of the use of brown coal in the German electricity industry no later than 2038. Coal mining in Germany was finally ended in December 2018, when the last coal mine was closed in the Ruhr area.

The Powering Past Coal Alliance is a group of over 80 countries, cities, regions and organizations aiming to accelerate the phase out of traditional or unabated coal power. In December 2018 membership stood at 80: 30 countries, 22 regions and 28 organizations.

The creation of an alliance of countries supporting the rejection of the use of coal for electricity generation was announced at the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn in November 2017.  To date, 30 countries have joined this alliance. At the same time, according to AFP news agency, more than 80 governments of individual countries and regions, as well as various enterprises, support the rejection of the construction of new coal-fired power plants and international financing for the development of the coal industry. These countries are also in favor of deciding on the date of the final refusal to use coal energy and bring national environmental measures in line with the Paris Agreement on Climate Protection.

On Friday, September 20, the German government, after long discussions, agreed on a package of measures aimed at protecting the climate. Among other things, it implies major investments in this area, the introduction of a national system of trade in emission quotas in the transport and construction sectors, as well as the convening of an expert council designed to annually check the results of work on climate protection.

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Doris Mkwaya

I am a journalist, with more than 12 years of experience as a reporter, author, editor, and journalism lecturer." I've worked as a reporter, editor and journalism lecturer, and am very enthusiastic about bringing what I've learned to this site. 

 


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